Whitney Downard

Whitney Downard

A native of upstate New York, Whitney previously covered statehouse politics for CNHI’s nine Indiana papers, focusing on long-term healthcare facilities and local government. Prior to her foray into Indiana politics, she worked as a general assignment reporter for The Meridian Star in Meridian, Mississippi. Whitney is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University (#GoBonnies!), a community theater enthusiast and cat mom.

Budget has big ongoing, one-time obligations

By: - January 9, 2023

When drafting the state’s next budget, lawmakers will need to consider the state’s ongoing commitments and one-time obligations under the cloud of a potential recession.  This comes after more than a year of revenues out-performing projections and two years of cash infusions from the federal government, boosting the state’s reserves.  Indiana operates under a two-year […]

Republicans open to governor’s proposed budget

By: - January 6, 2023

Republican budget writers were receptive to – but not overly enthusiastic about – Gov. Eric Holcomb’s proposed budget that was presented to the State Budget Committee on Thursday. Previously, lawmakers were skeptical about meeting agency funding requests, especially following a forecast predicting a “mild recession” in early 2023. But they appeared more optimistic about spending […]

Report: Former DWD employee filed more than $34K in fraudulent unemployment claims

By: - January 5, 2023

A former employee with the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) allegedly filed more than $34,000 in fraudulent unemployment claims for herself and her husband and now faces felony charges for theft, perjury and official misconduct. According to the investigative report filed by Indiana’s Office of Inspector General, program specialist Tina Trotter filed for and received […]

Healthcare costs top legislative priorities

By: - January 4, 2023

Lawmakers and businesses alike have long denounced Indiana’s high healthcare prices but haven’t yet penalized any actors. Advocates hope for more in the 2023 session, set to start Monday, with an intense focus on the state’s hospitals.  Hoosiers have some of the highest costs in the nation despite its overall low cost of living and […]

House Republicans take aim at ESG investing

By: - January 2, 2023

House Republican leadership appears poised to dive into culture war issues again when session starts in January, setting a target on ESG investing – or environmental-, social and government-focused investing – within the Indiana Public Retirement System (INPRS).  House Speaker Todd Huston, R-Fishers, declined to comment on the topic for this article but felt strongly […]

Federal omnibus bill sets end date for continuous Medicaid coverage

By: - December 23, 2022

Hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers who had continuous health insurance coverage under Medicaid will begin to lose their benefits this spring under an omnibus spending bill passed by the Senate Thursday. During the pandemic, anyone who qualified for Medicaid at any point would keep their coverage, even if their financial circumstances changed for the better. […]

Thousands of disabled Hoosiers need home health aides; there aren’t many

By: - December 22, 2022

Becky Sinkovic just needs a little help at home. Sinkovic, born with dwarfism, has an average torso but shortened limbs along with several spinal conditions, including: scoliosis, severe spinal stenosis, kyphosis and lordosis. She could live independently until 2015, when doctors urged her to get a series of back surgeries that fused her spine to […]

Hoosiers purchased more than 42K guns in November

By: - December 21, 2022

Hoosiers purchased an estimated 42,305 guns in November, a 1% decline from the year before but an increase from October. As a nation, Americans bought an estimated 1.36 million guns last month, also a 1% decline from the year before.  The majority of guns purchased by both Americans and Hoosiers were handguns, at 61% and […]

Senate proposes reevaluating state’s tax structure

By: - December 20, 2022

Some state senators are touting the possibility of reinventing Indiana’s tax structure to determine whether the state could eliminate individual and corporate income taxes. They say it’ll take pressure off residents and businesses, but it would also depress future revenue as others say Indiana needs to invest in its quality of life.  Sen. Travis Holdman […]

IDOH announces $10M Nurse-Family Partnership expansion

By: - December 19, 2022

Pregnant individuals and first-time parents across the state will have a new resource for aide following the $10 million expansion of the state’s Nurse-Family Partnership program. The program, designed to promote health pregnancies and give children a successful start in life, connects specially educated nurses with parents-to-be early in their pregnancies up to the child’s […]

Forecasts show additional money but slowing economy

By: - December 15, 2022

Indiana’s days of exponential economic growth and revenues exceeding forecasts may soon be over, according to newly updated forecasts presented before the State Budget Committee Thursday.  The good news from the presentation is that lawmakers will have roughly an additional $1.6 billion to spend when they draft a new two-year state budget But GOP leaders warn […]

Legislators skeptical as agencies outline their needs

By: - December 15, 2022

The Department of Child Services needs to increase rates for foster families and pay stipends for children in kinship care. More money is needed to develop a proposed 12,000 acre technology park in Boone County.  These requests for funding continued to filter in this week as the state begins drafting its two-year budget plan. Agencies […]